Irish journalists on strike over pay dispute
Irish journalists from the Reach media group took part in a strike after pay talks broke down without a deal.
Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) gathered in Dublin and Belfast on Wednesday in solidarity with more than 1,150 journalists from Reach newspapers and websites who traveled across the UK and Ireland.
Dublin journalists employed by Irish Reach Plc headlines were joined by supporters at a solidarity rally outside the statue of union leader Jim Larkin in O’Connell Street.
In Belfast, members picketed the premises of Reach Plc in Rosemary Street.
Titles affected include the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Record, Sunday Mail, Western Mail, Irish Star, Bristol Post, Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, Birmingham Mail, Journal, South Wales Evening Post and live company websites. .
NUJ representatives from across the UK and Ireland voted unanimously for a vote of no confidence in Reach chief executive Jim Mullen at a meeting on Monday, the union said.
Reach offered a 3% pay rise, worth an average of £750, which was rejected by 79% of NUJ members in a ballot earlier this month, according to the union.
Irish NUJ Secretary Seamus Dooley said: “It is fitting that we are meeting at a venue associated with the Irish trade union leader’s foundation.
“Larkin is remembered as someone who got workers off the streets, but also as a strong and determined negotiator.
“We were brought into this position thanks to the intransigence of Reach Plc CEO Jim Mullen.
“Larkin’s great rival, William Martin Murphy, himself a newspaper publisher, would probably blush at the outright affront of a man on a £4million salary refusing to enter into serious negotiations with a union. .
“The two senior executives are taking £7million from the company but say the company cannot afford realistic pay rises for overworked and underpaid staff. It’s time Reach Plc got real.
Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary of the NUJ, said: “We accepted the company’s invitation to talks brokered by Acas (the advisory, conciliation and arbitration service), but ultimately the lack unwillingness on the part of Reach chief executive Jim Mullen to budge an inch meant negotiations were doomed.
“This is a company with money in the bank, a company that is happy to spend £7m on lavish pay packages for its two top executives, a company that is about to hand over 4 million additional pounds to shareholders.
“Yet it’s also a company that believes its hard-working journalists deserve a huge real-world pay cut and refuses to reach a pay deal that will ensure our members keep them and their families afloat. families this winter.
‘It is shameful that a media company that positions itself as the voice of communities across the UK and Ireland, with many titles claiming to be an ally of workers, should choose to treat its own staff so badly.’